THE Matildas will look to kick off their Algarve Cup campaign in style with a win over Norway in their opening game.
Norway is ranked No.14 in the world, but the country has a prestigious history in women’s football, winning the World Cup in 1995, finishing runner-up in 1991 and making the semi-finals in both 1999 and 2007.
While star forward Sam Kerr is expected to lead the line in the opening game, the Matildas are missing a number of key and fringe players, with the likes of Caitlin Foord, Kyah Simon and Emily Gielnik absent through injury.
The Matildas are the top-ranked nation in Portugal after a stunning seven-match winning streak in 2017 saw them rise to fourth in the world.
That included their first win over the USA, as Alen Stajcic’s side claimed the Tournament of Nations.
Stajcic’s side play Norway (Thursday AEDT), Portugal (Saturday) and China (Tuesday) before a ranking match next Thursday — a run of four matches in just eight days.
— With AAP
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